EATING RIGHT TO LOOK AND FEEL YOUR BEST
Nutrition tips to ease the symptoms of PMS
Bloating, cramping, and fatigue experienced the week or so before your period are often due to fluctuating hormones. Diet can play an important role in alleviating these and other symptoms of PMS.
- Avoid trans fats, refined sugar, and salt. Sugar worsens mood swings and salt worsens water retention and bloating.
- Cut out caffeine and alcohol. Both are known to worsen PMS symptoms, so avoid them during this time in your cycle.
- Limit red meat and egg yolks as they can cause inflammation. You may want to try sticking to vegetable proteins like soy and nuts, to see if it helps with your symptoms.
- Try cutting out dairy. Many women find relief from symptoms when dairy foods are eliminated from their diet. For some, improvements occur when they switch to hormone-free, organic dairy products.
- Add essential fatty acids to you diet. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help with cramps. See if eating more fish or taking fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements eases your PMS symptoms.
- Consider vitamin supplements. For some women, taking a daily multivitamin or supplementing with magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin E may help relieve cramps.
Nutrition tips to ease menopause
For up to a decade prior to menopause, your reproductive system prepares to retire and your body shifts its production of hormones. By eating especially well as you enter your menopausal years, you can ease this transition.
- Boost calcium intake. Calcium supports bone health and helps prevent osteoporosis. Also make sure you’re getting plenty of Vitamin D and magnesium, both of which support calcium absorption.
- Limit wine, sugar, white flour products, and coffee. Hot flashes improve in almost all cases when those foods are reduced or eliminated.
- Eat more good fats. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids can help boost hormone production and give your skin a healthy glow. Evening primrose oil and black currant oil are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that can help balance your hormones and alleviate hot flashes.
- Try flaxseed for hot flashes. Flaxseed is rich in lignans, which help stabilize hormone levels. Flaxseed can be particularly effective in managing hot flashes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your daily diet. Try sprinkling it on soups, salads, or main dishes.
- Consider eating more soy. Soy products are high in phytoestrogens, plant-based estrogens that are similar to estrogen produced by the body. Some studies suggest that soy may help manage menopausal symptoms. Try natural soy sources such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and soy nuts.